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Sustainability From Seed to Cup

Coffee is more than a beverage - it's our livelihood.


Sustainability touches every part of the coffee supply chain: from origin to production, transportation, warehousing, retail, and even consumer behavior. This supply chain is long – and complex. But considering that the world consumes over 2.25 billion cups of coffee annually, small changes at any point can add up to big change.

While there is always more work to be done, sustainability is an ongoing process - the International Coffee Organization defines it as "a dynamic continuum and can best be perceived as an ongoing process rather than a static achievement."

We are proud to recognize the work our industry has done - and continues to do. Companies across the coffee supply chain are committed to building a sustainable future. (Visit the NCA Sustainability Showcase to see some of the initiatives from our members.) 

Innovations across the coffee sector, from genetic research to improved packaging, will continue to drive the industry’s trajectory towards true sustainability. 


What is the National Coffee Association’s role in coffee and sustainability?

We believe that the key to sustainability in coffee is education – from the farmer at origin to the customer at the coffee shop. The NCA is dedicated to serving as a resource for the industry, fostering leadership, and catalyzing collaboration so we can move forward together. 


Sustainability Snapshot


☕  $350 million is invested annually into sustainability activities in the coffee sector.
Source: Global Coffee Platform


☕   Without strong action, the area suitable for coffee production is expected to be slashed in half by 2050. 
Source: Climate Change Institute


☕   28% of coffee drinkers don’t know if their coffee is grown in a sustainable way.
Source: NCA NCDT 2016


☕   Women coffee farmers typically reinvest 90% their income back into their family and household.
Source: United Nations


Coffee rust at a farm in Cauca, southwestern Colombia

Coffee tree leaves afflicted by La Roya. CC Image courtesy of Flickr - Neil Palmer (CIAT)

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

Related Reading

Beyond Origin
Q&A with Counter Culture Coffee’s Meredith Taylor

The Opportunity of Sustainability
Q&A with Nina Goodrich, GreenBlue

Seeding Coffee’s Future: A Conversation About Conservation and Verification
World Coffee Research